UPDATED: 60 Minutes Saga: What’s Happened And What We Know

UPDATED: 60 Minutes Saga: What’s Happened And What We Know
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UPDATE Thursday 14 April 2016: Multiple media outlets are reporting the judge said “there is no way” the charges against the foursome detained will be dropped.

“There was a violation of the Lebanese authority by all these people, it’s a crime,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported the judge telling media.

The 60 Minutes saga continues to unfold as the team of four currently faces charges with offences relating to kidnapping.

But if you’ve had a lazy week and not up to speed with everything that’s happened with Nine’s current affairs program, we have the low down for you here.

Nearly a week ago reports surfaced that some Australian 60 Minutes crew had been detained in Lebanon. The crew had reportedly been filming a segment about recovering two children who had been taken to Beruit, Lebanon’s capital, and not returned home to Australia.

The crew, the mother of the children and others involved, were arrested and detained in Beruit.

In a statement, foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop said the Government was aware of the issue, and has “offered all appropriate consular assistance”.

The crew involved are reporter Tara Brown (pictured above), producer Stephen Rice, cameraman Ben Williamson and sound recordist David Ballment.

The ABC reported the Brisbane-based mother, Sally Faulkner, had alleged the father was holding the children in Lebanon, and had paid an agency to take them back.

“The children’s mother Sally Faulkner had hired a child recovery agency to help remove the children, but that operation is believed to have gone wrong,” the ABC reported last Thursday.

Faulkner was then detained alongside the 60 Minutes crew, and others involved in the abduction.

The ABC is also reporting authorities claim Channel 9 paid for the intervention for Faulkner to snatch her children back.

“Lebanese authorities say they have uncorroborated evidence Nine paid for the operation, which saw the children of Australian mother Sally Faulkner snatched off a Beirut street,” the ABC said.

“Authorities say they now have a signed statement from a member of the ‘recovery team’ who says Nine paid $115,000 for the operation.”

Nine has not confirmed whether the network paid for it or not.

While speculation has been rife on the outcome of the situation, Tuesday saw the 60 Minutes team facing charges relating to offences of kidnapping.

A Nine spokesperson said it will be a few days until the team can respond to the charges laid.

“The matter appeared briefly before a judge in Beirut today, Tuesday, but it will be some days before the crew are interviewed by the judge which will be their first chance to respond to any charges that are to be laid,” said Nine.

“We do not have any further details at this time and we are not able to comment on any other aspects of the matter at this time.”

It appears it will be a few days until we know an outcome for the crew members and those involved.

 

Nine’s full statement as of Wednesday morning:

Channel Nine can confirm today that its 60 Minutes crew being detained in Lebanon are facing being charged with offences related to kidnapping.

The crew comprises reporter Tara Brown, producer Stephen Rice, cameraman Ben Williamson and sound recordist David Ballment.

The matter appeared briefly before a judge in Beirut today, Tuesday, but it will be some days before the crew are interviewed by the judge which will be their first chance to respond to any charges that are to be laid.

We do not have any further details at this time and we are not able to comment on any other aspects of the matter at this time.

Lead image via SBS.

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